Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering
Since the very early days of South Africa's industrialisation, our country's generous mineral resources have always been one of the foundations for economic growth and this is even truer today where the demand for goods originally arising from mineral resources appears to be outstripping the supply in the future. Unlocking this endowment in a globally operating economy requires advanced technology as South Africa, in spite of our resources, needs to compete with other richly endowed countries also with their own minerals.
The Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering of the University of Pretoria is currently the only fully integrated metallurgical engineering department on the tertiary level in South Africa and is able to expose our future professional metallurgical engineers to the full minerals/metals scope ranging from minerals processing, to pyro- and hydro extractive metallurgy, to physical metallurgy and welding and corrosion metallurgy. Metallurgical engineers graduating from our Department are, therefore, able to feel at home and make a meaningful contribution to any branch of metallurgy in the full minerals/metals industrial cycle in South Africa and even abroad. It is, therefore, understandable that graduates from our Department are well sought-after by industry with many of them continuing after graduation with specialisation in post graduate studies.
The Department also hosts a strong and vibrant post-graduate research program that offers Honors, Masters and PhD degrees, with the latter two based on research only while the Honors degrees are based on an advanced teaching program that includes exposure to the latest technological and academic developments in the metallurgical industry. The Department's research program is fully focused on actual industrial problems faced by the local and continental metallurgical industry and receives generous financial support and healthy interaction from leading mining and metallurgical companies such as Anglo American Corporation, GlencoreXstrata, Tenova/Bateman, Kumba Iron Ore, Exxaro, Columbus Stainless, Arcelor Mittal SA, BHP Billiton, Anglo Coal and many others. In addition our researchers also enjoy close interaction with industry-wide associations such as the SA Welding Institute, the SA Stainless Steel Development Association, the SA Iron and Steel Institute, SA Minerals Research Initiative and some others. International co-operative projects with companies and research institutions in Europe, the US, South America (notably Brazil) and Australia are also active and link our researchers into international programs. The Department’s teaching and research program is supported by a set of well-equipped laboratories containing up to date facilities while advanced equipment is also available within the University’s Central Microscopy Unit and in other Departments within the University.
The Department's high level teaching and research programs are mutually supportive in that outstanding teaching leads to high level research while the outstanding research, in turn, leads to excellent teaching. This combination makes the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering of the University of Pretoria a leading driving force towards greater competitiveness in the local and continental minerals and metallurgical industry through the development and optimisation of advanced processes whilst also developing our youth to the highest academic levels.
Drafted by Waldo Stumpf (BSc Eng and PhD, Pr Eng)